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Old 08-14-2008   #67
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

fitzcarldo:

Great post. Was just curious which model of Oppo are you using and what made you go with that particular model? I think there are currently three different Oppo models now. Thanks!
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Old 08-15-2008   #68
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by fitzcaraldo215 View Post
I disagree strongly with Kenny. The Integra DTC 9.8, soon to be a 9.9, does play hi-rez multichannel music to a very, very high standard for under $2k.
fitz,

If you heard what my system could do with the Meridian 861v4 and the G98DH for DVD-A or Jerry's rig with the 861/800 you would know why I say what I do. This is why it hit me the other day that this is your first system with SACD/DVD-A.

Trust me, there are better setups, I am very happy you love the new rig, but feel I must keep you in check for other readers sake and the integrity of the magazine. For those of us who have had SACD and DVD-A since their inceptions and have gone through dozens of players and pre/pro's, I can clearly tell you their is a difference between them. I would encourage you to go demo the full Meridian rig with a DVD-A of your choice (Meridian designed MLP, which DVD-A uses so they never supported SACD) and I think you will see what I mean.

The other option, which will save you tons of cash, is to just live and love the rig you have, which you obviously do. I might even say to NOT demo any other rigs as you seem so ecstatic with your current setup, listening to anything else might just lessen your enjoyment and cause upgraditis!

KT
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Old 08-15-2008   #69
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Mines been in use for a month now and it still isn't as good as say the Anthem D2 and definitely not as good as the Meridian 861, but that costs WAY more.
Kenny,
What led you to replace the Anthem D2 with the Denon. Other than the capacity to carry HDMI 1.3 signals, are there other differences? AFAIK, there are no sources which carry the deep color signals which 1.3 is capable. (I'm debating between these 2 preamps). Thanks in advance for your response(s)!
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Old 08-15-2008   #70
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

Integra DTC 9.9 is supposed to have it all and for less than $2000
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Old 08-15-2008   #71
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by jimmydaves View Post
fitzcarldo:

Great post. Was just curious which model of Oppo are you using and what made you go with that particular model? I think there are currently three different Oppo models now. Thanks!
I am using the Oppo 980 with great results. The 980 ($169) and 981(>$200) will do SACD via DSD (SACD's native form) in HDMI to the pre/pro, where it is converted to PCM, processed and output as analog. The 980 and 981 can optionally also do PCM out. The Oppo 983 (>$300), which has superb video processing, will only output PCM via HDMI. I chose the 980 because it was cheap, and at the time, Oppo thought it was better sounding than the 981, which is better on video. The 983 was not yet available when I bought my 980. I myself have only heard the 980.

Having tried both DSD out and PCM out of the 980, I distinctly prefer DSD out. Kal Rubinson has reviewed all three, plus the Integra DTC 9.8, starting last January in successive Music in the Round columns in Stereophile (available on line). First, he prefers PCM out of all 3. Second, he thinks the 983 sounds very slightly best of the 3, but that the difference is not worth an upgrade.

Kal has also recently reviewed the only other player which will output SACD via HDMI - the Pioneer Elite DV58($500). Kal prefers this with DSD out rather than PCM, and he thinks it is the best sounding of the 4. This machine has become hot since Kal's review. I am awaiting one from my dealer for audition. This might be worth an upgrade, and my 980 can always become a second DVD player.

By the way, Kal is great. He's probably the best multichannel reviewer for music out there. While I quibble with his choice of DSD vs. PCM out, I am in total agreement with his review of the Integra pre/pro. I got mine about a month before his review appeared after listening to a cross section of much more expensive pre/pro's.

We are not likely to see any other players that will output multichannel SACD via HDMI, although there are rumors that Denon will bring one out. It is only a matter of time before SACD is replaced in the marketplace by lossless 7.1 on Blu-Ray, which I expect will be fantastic sounding. I am biding my time on buying a BR player while the makers sort out the technology, and there is currently only one classical (my music preference) release out in this format. I am overwhelmingly a music, rather than a video junkie. I expect Oppo to provide a stunning BR machine by the next CES in January. I do not expect it to handle SACD at all. In the mean time, I will need a legacy SACD player for my growing SACD collection.
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Old 08-15-2008   #72
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Default Re: High end pre/pro's. Are they worth it???

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Originally Posted by kennyt View Post
fitz,

If you heard what my system could do with the Meridian 861v4 and the G98DH for DVD-A or Jerry's rig with the 861/800 you would know why I say what I do. This is why it hit me the other day that this is your first system with SACD/DVD-A.

Trust me, there are better setups, I am very happy you love the new rig, but feel I must keep you in check for other readers sake and the integrity of the magazine. For those of us who have had SACD and DVD-A since their inceptions and have gone through dozens of players and pre/pro's, I can clearly tell you their is a difference between them. I would encourage you to go demo the full Meridian rig with a DVD-A of your choice (Meridian designed MLP, which DVD-A uses so they never supported SACD) and I think you will see what I mean.

The other option, which will save you tons of cash, is to just live and love the rig you have, which you obviously do. I might even say to NOT demo any other rigs as you seem so ecstatic with your current setup, listening to anything else might just lessen your enjoyment and cause upgraditis!

KT
Kenny - I had done so with the Meridian. It's great. But, lack of features, proprietary architecture and lack of full SACD capability, not to mention astronomical cost, made my decision easy. If SACD is a tiny niche market, DVD-A is off the bottom of the charts. There is no comparison in music availability between SACD and DVD-A.
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